Novell, which was a network operating system vendor, then a directory vendor then an email and groupware vendor then a Linux provider, then whatever it is now, wants to go back to being an email and groupware vendor again.
It just opened to a public beta for VibeCloud, a Web-based set of applications designed to coordinate teamwork among physically separated teams using social networking, document sharing, co-editing, file sync, unified messaging, chat, blogs and wikis.
The Waltham, Mass. company, which bought WordPerfect when they were both Utah neighbors, then extended its end-user apps to build up a critically acclaimed but poorly selling suite of collaboration apps that were always overly complex, expensive, or too not-Microsoft-Office to catch on.
Novell currently sells a Web conferencing apps in addition to version 8 of Groupwise (which still has a but loyal following) and, now that it has opened to the public a beta program that's been running since spring.
It is also tooling up a version designed to be installed inside the firewall, called Vibe On Premise.
Novell will join one or two other vendors in the online-collaboration-tools market, including IBM, MindTouch, SAP, Kohive, Cisco, Salesforce, Microsoft, HyperOffice, Google, VMware, Adobe and half the SAAS providers on Earth.
Good luck, guys.